Woman Found in Lost & Found

This post might stink. I just have to write. My daughters and I moved a few days ago. Here’s the thing — SO MUCH went wrong. I mean, if I gave you a narrative of all that has transpired in the past several days, you’d respond, “Pam, please get more therapy for your inane exaggeration.” There is so much to tell, I won’t even tell it here for fear of making this post way too long.

Over the past several days of complete chaos, error, breakage and money sucking, I have found myself exhausted, but really happy and comfy in my acne-filled skin. I am so surprised by my own reactions to snafus, I can hardly believe it myself.

Now, to be fair and brutally honest, my kids have said to me a few times over the last few days, “Mom, calm down.” I actually feel pretty calm and am behaving as such, so my daughters have realized they have to invent new exclamations and rebuttals.

As we toured my eldest daughter’s middle school this week, all three of us, (me and my kids) were struck by the fact that no one is left out in the fray. Emotional well-being is more important than test scores and academics. The school’s philosophy is, that if a child is comfortable and feels safe, their academic performance improves. I am so grateful for this school district and its attention and care for the kids, it has made me teary eyed a few times.

To kick off this week, in addition to a move and all that goes with it, my youngest daughter had an unexpected biopsy for a suspicious mole on her arm. I know this is “no big deal,” but it’s hard to rest until I hear the words, “It’s benign.” I had noticed this mole changing on her arm over the last few months, so I am grateful our incredible dermatologist noticed the change as well and took action. My nine year old was as brave as brave can be.

I have never written about my own experience with melanoma, and don’t feel like writing all that much about it now. Suffice it to say that I am more aware of moles than the average person, I have never been the same since I heard my doctor say, “cancer,” and that isn’t a bad thing, and I never felt more lost and then, found, as a woman. The whole experience was the start of an extremely enlightening several years.

I have had other issues since my melanoma diagnosis in the fall of 2013. Still, the most challenging moment of all, was the moment I sat in an icky medical supply store and was being fitted for compression stockings. I remember being surrounded by old men who looked like they might be named, “Shlomo, Harvey and Max,” and I also remember that the woman who was assisting everyone smoked cigarettes in the store. I thought I was in hell.

Due to the loss of my lymph nodes at my groin, I developed horrible and debilitating lymphedema and had to be fitted for compression hosiery for my left leg. (Through good health practices, it’s 98% improved from what it once was.) As I sat there at the medical supply place, totally depressed, I was offered a choice of white or nude medical compression hosiery, all I could think was, “My God. I am never going to have sex again. I’m never going to want to. Not ever.” I also had one of the most important ideas of my entire life.

I was totally lost in that medical supply store. Cancer, lymphedema and other hardships found me. For a moment, or two, I questioned everything, and then, I began questioning virtually nothing.

I would not change all that has happened, because I wouldn’t be here today without walking through and not around shit.

Since having cancer, I have done and experienced many great things. Gifts, really.

So now, I’m waiting for my daughter’s biopsy results. I’m looking at my phone somewhat obsessively in hopes that I will hear before the end of this work week. I know I can’t control this, and I know foxhole prayers are bullshit, but truth be told, I’m praying my ass off.

I need focus to dive into a workshop/facilitation project early next week, and like always, I will bring all that I have been and am to it, so I can find out where everyone has been, where they are and where we might all venture together.

Tonight, I am speaking to a crowd about problem solving. I haven’t prepared anything, but I have had plenty of training this week and before this week. In many instances, I solve problems by simply accepting that there isn’t a thing I can do about it and by moving on. This frees me up to solve the actual problems that can be solved.

I think it’s true that we never really get more than we can handle. And while I type this, the Rolling Stones just happen to be singing, “You can’t always get what you want, but you get what you need…”

There are no mistakes, I think.

I’m grateful to be found in this very moment.